I’ve written a lot about the importance of family traditions, big and small. But one thing I sometimes forget is how many mini traditions we’ve built around the changing of each season.
It’s often not until the leaves start turning colors and there’s a chill in the air that I remember how much the kids love it when I have a hot pot of apple cider simmering on the stove, or reading In November together under a big soft blanket.
Today our contributor Alli is here sharing some of her favorite play activities for fall.
These are great ways to avoid the dreaded chorus of, “Mom, I’m Bored” that can come with bad weather. And, good news, most are super simple to set up… If you’re looking for Thanksgiving related ideas, be sure to also check out 20 Things to Do with the Kids Before Thanksgiving’s Over.
Here’s Alli with one very special apple-picking game of her own and 25 more crafts from around the web…
It’s fall! My absolute favorite season. So, of course, I had to make it into a Play Theme Cheat Sheet. And really – cool weather, gorgeous leaves, pumpkins galore – what’s not to love?
I have always wanted to take my little family apple picking in the fall. (I’ve never actually been. Sad, right?) But since apple farms are few and far between where I live, I decided to bring apple picking to us–with a little educational value built in.
We’ve been working on our numbers at home, so I thought why not make a number apple picking game?
I went straight to the craft store to pick up a few sheets of felt. I chose gray for my tree and red for the apples. Then I chose a few scrap fabric pieces for the stems and the leaves. I also picked up a bottle of black fabric paint.
Then, after the kids went to bed, I started cutting. I used a cookie cutter to trace the shape of my apples. Then, I attached the stems and leaves with a dot of Fabri-tac (a simple stitch would do just as well.)
The last step was to add my numbers with the fabric paint (0-9).
I let them dry overnight and in the morning it was time to play!
We played three ways:
1. We “picked the apples” by number (number recognition).
2. We “picked” a certain number of apples at a time (counting).
3. We “picked” some apples, and added others (addition and subtraction).
Isaiah loved it so much, we played all day. The fact that it was educational was my little secret. It was a great lesson, and a perfect way to celebrate fall.
Here are 25 other ways to play with the fall theme all month long:
- Find the Tree that Matches the Leaf
- Simple Pilgrim Hats
- Paint a Fall Fingerprint Tree
- Spaghetti Box Feathers
- Sensory Play: Shaving Cream Pumpkin Pie
- Swiming in the Leaves
- Thanksgiving Spelling Stones
- A Thankful Heart Activity
- Fall Leaves Resist Art Sun Catcher
- Leaf Peepers
- Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
Kid-Friendly DIY Decor
Toys and Books to Help:
- Toysmith Kids Metal Rake with Hardwood Handle
- LEGO Thanksgiving Feast
- Leaf Bubble Blower
- Let it Fall
- Fletcher and the Falling Leaves
- The Wonders of Fall
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